NYG Postgame (vs. Buccaneers) Transcripts: QB Eli Manning -- November 18, 2018
Q: What feels different and what do you see differently after winning two in a row?
A: Just finding the rhythm. Just kind of our identity. I think the offensive line has been playing really well the last couple of weeks. Just running the football, play actions have been really good for us. Getting the ball down the field, the protection has been good down the field. I think those combinations. We can run the football and play action. That first drive, run the football, get a first down, have a play action pass and hit Odell for a 40-yard gain. That was the start of it. All day, ran the ball well, play action was good and we scored in the red zone. That has been good for us the last couple of weeks.
Q: Can you address Saquon and what he has done for this team as a rookie?
A: I think he has gotten better every week. Thatís what you ask everyone to do and I thought today was the best he ran. He had a better tempo. He was hitting the holes fast and was running hard. He was close to breaking a couple of long ones but he was just efficient. He has been great the past games. He works hard. We missed him on the one third down down the sideline so we will work on that one and make sure we hit it.
Q: Was that a back shoulder throw?
A: No, I just missed him. I have to look at it on film. Just a combination of both, I could probably throw it a little better and see when he is looking back to make sure he is not looking too late. We have to be able to hit that one. That was a big third down.
Q: Did you realize you were perfect up until that point?
A: No. You just have to worry about the score. It was a tight game. We were going to have to score some more points.
Q: Did you ever have a game at any level where you only missed one pass?
A: I donít know. I may have had one versus Oakland here years ago. I only played the first half but I think we had it going pretty well.
Q: What is the feel of this team? 2-0, maybe getting some momentum?
A: Yes, I think there is some excitement going around. It is good. It is a good feeling to have in the locker room and you see some growth. You see the improvement. You see guys getting familiar with their spots and what they are doing. We never had a lot of screw ups, but it is just guys executing. The execution has been better and we are putting ourselves in better positions most of the time. We are not having the negative plays on first and second down. Still had some sacks on first and second down that hurt us a bit and pushed us back, but overall just executed better and put ourselves in better positions.
Q: Did JPP say anything to you on those sacks he had?
A: No, nothing at the time. I saw him afterwards and he let me know that he got me a few times. He went easy on me, didnít give me an extra push into the ground or an extra hit. A lot of respect for JPP, he was a great teammate and is playing at a high level this year. He is one of the good guys in the NFL.
Q: A couple of weeks ago we were wondering if you were going to be benched. Is their any personal satisfaction in this?
A: There is always personal satisfaction when you win football games. I feel good for all the guys. The new guys, guys that have been here, the coaches. Losing, it is not fun for anyone. It is not about me, it is about this team coming together and doing it for everyone and for everyone to feel good about all the hard work that has been going in. We just have to keep doing it. We are going to Philly this week. Thanksgiving week always changes things. We just have to keep our focus, have great preparation and continue to find ways to win football games.
Q: Coach challenged Saquon to work hard and get those dirty yards. Why is that still the goal?
A: It sets up everything. It helps the offense get going. You can run the ball and be physical. They can have that push and it should help you get into third and manageable situations. Instead of getting two yards or three yards, you are getting those extra yards running hard and not bouncing around. You are hitting the holes hard and getting the five and six-yard runs. Eventually, itíll break. He is a big man. Those guys get tired of taking him on. I thought he played outstanding today.
Q: You have won two straight. Washington lost today. What do you think about where you stand?
A: Coach explained it two weeks ago. We have an eight-game season, but it is one game at a time. That is all we can focus on. Obviously, going to Philly, all we can worry about is that. It is a division game, a big one. We have to keep going.
Q: Did you hear what happened to Alex Smith in that game?
A: I just heard he got injured. During the game, I saw Colt McCoy in there. I didnít know if it was bad but I saw that he was injured. Alex is a good man. I feel for him. You never like to see that.